What started out as a way for Dr. Val Kolpakov to learn all he could about the available brands of toothpaste on the market has led the Georgia dentist becoming the owner of the world’s largest collection of toothpaste tubes, according to the Guinness World Records.
Since 2001, the dentist has accrued 2,037 different tubes from locales around the globe, including countries like Japan, Russia, India, and China. He estimates his collection, some of which is displayed at his office and the rest at his home, to be worth more than $30,000.
The dentist’s cache is eclectic in terms of tube shape and taste, including one that is wasabi flavored. His favorites are a set of three whiskey-flavored pastes: rye, scotch, and bourbon. The novelty pastes, which were made in the 1950s by Don Poynter, contain 3% alcohol, according to Guinness.
Another favorite is one from the 1960s. Kolpakov has a rocket-shaped tube of Orbit Dental Cream that came with instructions to mail 25¢ to obtain rocket fuel to launch the empty toothpaste container into the air.
Kolpakov considers several German toothpaste tubes that were unearthed from World War II trenches as some of his most unusual items. They are special because they contain thorium, a naturally occurring radioactive element found in soil, plants, water, and rocks. In the past, radioactive compounds were believed to be good for skin and teeth.
However, one of Kolpakov’s rarest tubes in his collection is one that exists only on television. A tube of Brenner’s toothpaste was made for the show, “Prison Break.” The dentist said it was “used with phosphoric acid inside the tube to corrode the pipes, and that would help them to escape [prison].”
When it comes to his collection, Kolpakov has one regret. He didn’t buy a tube of toothpaste that had gone up in space with an astronaut. The oral hygiene product was designed so that it could be squeezed out and used while in space, according to Guinness.
Watch the video below to hear Kolpakov talk more about his collection.